KARACHI – “This is one of the country´s best kept secrets”, writes the Pakistani journalist Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam in her blog on the website chaaidaani.wordpress.com last week. There she is talking about female genital mutilation (FGM), a problem, which was not located in Pakistan in that extent until now. After long researches Moazzam discovered that FGM in the mainly Muslim country is mostly carried out by the Bohra Community, about 100 000 members, and other isolated communities in Pakistan. “I did not want to believe that it was happening in my country”, admits Moazzam.
The main problem seems to lie in the non-communication within practicing families. Furthermore: They consider it obligatory according to their faith. But the majority of Muslim scholars world over agree that FGM is not an obligatory custom in Islam. “It is one of those customs that existed in Arab culture prior to the coming of Islam. It is neither advised nor recommended”, confirms Mufti Muhammad Afzal Asari.
With greater awareness about this problem in Pakistan, Farahnaz Zahidi Moazzam wants to pave the way for informed decisions. “It is time, yet again, to bring this subject out of the closet.”